Book: Obama, Clinton left Libya a terrorist training site

by Stephen Dinan
Washington Times
October 13, 2015

Note: This article originally was published by the Washington Times. For more on the book “Architects of Disaster,” click here.

1247 (1)President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton inherited aLibya in the midst of slow but sure liberalization — “a model ally” in fighting terrorists — and instead created a training ground for terrorists, the former chief of theHouse intelligence committee argues in a new book reviewing the evidence.

Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Republican who spent 10 years on the committee with oversight of America’s clandestine operations, dubs Mr. Obama and his top diplomat, Mrs. Clinton, the “Architects of Disaster” — the title of a new book he’s written accusing them of bungling the run-up to war, wrongly ousting leader Moammar Gadhafi, then leaving the country a mess that has already come back to bite with the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.

“How many are aware, for example, that Islamic terrorists almost surely got their hands on the remnants of Gaddafi’s chemical weapons arsenal of sulfur mustard gas, only about half of which had been destroyed at the time of the uprising?” Mr. Hoekstra argues. “The tragedy of misbegotten American policy in Libya continues to unfold, and only the most deluded optimists believe that there will not be more bad news to come.”

The book, which is being released Tuesday, was written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism, where Mr. Hoekstra is a senior fellow.

He argues, using publicly reported sources, that Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should have seen Libya‘s progress after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which scared Gadhafi into ceding his nuclear weapons program and paying damages to the victims of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

As a member of the intelligence committee, Mr. Hoekstra traveled to Libya in 2003, at the behest of the Bush administration, to determine whether Gadhafi‘s conversion was real, and he says Republicans and Democrats on that trip unanimously concluded the Libyan leader had been scared straight — both by the U.S., and by fears of radical jihadists overthrowing him.

“Yes, Gaddafi was a monster, but he was our monster. In the ways that mattered most, he was preferable — immensely so — to many of those who brought him down, and the stability of Libya under his control was preferable to the chaos that has followed,” the former congressman concludes. “Although NATO effectively brought down Gaddafi, it broke Libya but didn’t own it or do anything to fix it.”

With the exception of the investigation into the Benghazi attack, Libya has faded from the headlines as attention has turned to Syria, where the facts on the ground are strikingly similar: a regime intent on attacking some of its own citizens, a jihadist insurgency and an international community torn over how to react.

Despite the parallels, Mr. Obama has handled them very differently. In Libya he led a coalition to impose a no-fly zone that targeted Gadhafi‘s forces, reversing the rebels’ fortunes and ensuring their victory. But in Syria the president has rebuffed calls for a no-fly zone and only tepidly backed rebels with a training program that after a year was so much of a failure the administration called it off last week.

The president, in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” program this weekend, said he’s convinced the Islamic State insurgents will eventually fade.

“Over time, the community of nations will all get rid of them, and we will be leading getting rid of them. But we are not going to be able to get rid of them unless there is an environment inside of Syria and in portions of Iraq in which local populations, local Sunni populations are working in a concerted way with us to get rid of them,” he said.

Mr. Hoekstra argues Mr. Gadhafi was just such an anti-Jihadist partner in Libya, and he said the president’s inaction in Syria is hypocritical given the greater death toll there.

“President Obama broke Libya,” Mr. Hoekstra said, adopting the “you break it, you own it” school of war and foreign relations. “Worse, in this case, some would say that the United States actually supported the wrong side, overthrowing an ally in the war against radical Islam in favor of the jihadists.”

In a series of recommendations, Mr. Hoekstra cautions against the belief that U.S.-style democracy can be imposed, saying that local customs and traditions exist because they are embraced by the locals. American efforts, he said, need to adapt to that — much as the 2007 troop surge in Iraq did.

Mr. Hoekstra also briefly re-litigates the questions leading up to that war, saying that the answer to the question of whether the regime possessed weapons of mass destruction “is unclear,” even more than a decade later.

“As I learned back in 2005, as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the military had unearthed hundreds of chemical weapons shells in Iraq, a discovery the Bush administration, foolishly preferring (as Karl Rove put it) to ‘let sleeping dogs lie,’ withheld from the public,” the former congressman wrote.

The Refugee Crisis Must Not Undermine U.S. National Security

distressed_persons_are_transferred_to_a_maltese_patrol_vessel.-1024x683Frontpage, by Michael Cutler, Sep. 15, 2015:

The Middle East has become a roiling cauldron as multiple and often competing terror groups continue their bloody rampages throughout that embattled region of the world.

By its words and deeds — or more properly, by lack of deeds — the Obama administration created a power vacuum.  The situation was further exacerbated when the president drew “lines in the sand” and demonstrated an abject lack of resolve when he failed to act when those lines were crossed.

Negotiations must always be conducted from a position of strength, however, the administration’s posture and apparent lack of resolve projected anything but strength.

Our adversaries respect strength and, conversely, become emboldened when we demonstrate weakness.

Radical Islamists saw opportunities in all of the above and ISIS pushed on with its plans to create a Caliphate.  Today huge numbers of people are understandably fleeing the violence and chaos that has enveloped Syria and other parts of the Middle East.

I am certainly sympathetic to the plight of refugees.  My grandmother (my mother’s mother for whom I was named), was slaughtered during the Holocaust in Poland because we are Jews.  In point of fact, many of my mother’s family died during the Holocaust.  My first wife died of cancer 30 years ago.  Her mother (my mother-in-law) had been held in a concentration camp in Poland during the Holocaust while her father lived in forests, always somehow managing to stay one step ahead of the Nazis, although many of his family members were caught and killed during World War II.

However, the undeniable problem we now face is that there is no reliable way to vet these refugees.  This is hardly a minor problem.  Isis and other terror organizations have made it clear that their goal is to attack our nation and ultimately fly their flag over the White House.

On September 20, 2013 Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) posted my article,Comprehensive Immigration Reform:  Background Checks Require a Reality Check.”  In my article I presented my “insider’s” perspectives about just how difficult it is for the various federal agencies, especially  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Benefits (USCIS), to effectively screen applications filed by millions of aliens who seek various immigration benefits.  Because the number of alien applicants is so huge, most often applications are adjudicated without so much as a face-to-face interview, let alone an actual field investigation.

On November 10, 2014 Newsweek Magazine published a disturbing report, “Inside the CIA’s Syrian Rebels Vetting Machine.”  The article focused on the utter ineptitude in the program by which the CIA attempted to vet a force of only 5,000 Syrians they recruited to fight against terrorists.

Here is how this important article begins:

Nothing has come in for more mockery during the Obama administration’s halting steps into the Syrian civil war than its employment of “moderate” to describe the kind of rebels it is willing to back. In one of the more widely cited japes, The New Yorker’s resident humorist, Andy Borowitz, presented a “Moderate Syrian Application Form,” in which applicants were asked to describe themselves as either “A) Moderate, B) Very moderate, C) Crazy moderate or D) Other.”

After Senator John McCain allegedly posed with Syrians “on our side” who turned out to be kidnappers—a report later called into question—Jon Stewart cracked, “Not everyone is going to be wearing their ‘HELLO I’M A TERRORIST’ name badge.”

Behind the jokes, however, is the deadly serious responsibility of the CIA and Defense Department to vet Syrians before they receive covert American training, aid and arms. But according to U.S. counterterrorism veterans, a system that worked pretty well during four decades of the Cold War has been no match for the linguistic, cultural, tribal and political complexities of the Middle East, especially now in Syria. “We’re completely out of our league,” one former CIA vetting expert declared on condition of anonymity, reflecting the consensus of intelligence professionals with firsthand knowledge of the Syrian situation. “To be really honest, very few people know how to vet well. It’s a very specialized skill. It’s extremely difficult to do well” in the best of circumstances, the former operative said. And in Syria it has proved impossible.

Daunted by the task of fielding a 5,000-strong force virtually overnight, the Defense Department and CIA field operatives, known as case officers, have largely fallen back on the system used in Afghanistan, first during the covert campaign to rout the Soviet Red Army in the 1980s and then again after the 2001 U.S. invasion to expel Al-Qaeda: Pick a tribal leader who in turn recruits a fighting force. But these warlords have had their own agendas, including drug-running, and shifting alliances, sometimes collaborating with terrorist enemies of the United States, sometimes not.

“Vetting is a word we throw a lot around a lot, but actually very few people know what it really means,” said the former CIA operative, who had several postings in the Middle East for a decade after the 9/11 attacks. “It’s not like you’ve got a booth set up at a camp somewhere. What normally happens is that a case officer will identify a source who is a leader in one of the Free Syrian Army groups. And he’ll say, ‘Hey…can you come up with 200 [guys] you can trust?’ And of course they say yes—they always say yes. So Ahmed brings you a list and the details you need to do the traces,” the CIA’s word for background checks. “So you’re taking that guy’s word on the people he’s recruited. So we rely on a source whom we’ve done traces on to do the recruiting. Does that make sense?”

No, says former CIA operative Patrick Skinner, who still travels the region for the Soufan Group, a private intelligence organization headed by FBI, CIA and MI6 veterans. “Syria is a vetting nightmare,” he told Newsweek, “with no way to discern the loyalties of not only those being vetted but also of those bringing the people to our attention.”

A particularly vivid example was provided recently by Peter Theo Curtis, an American held hostage in Syria for two years. A U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) unit that briefly held him hostage casually revealed how it collaborated with Al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front, even after being “vetted” and trained by the CIA in Jordan, he wrote in The New York Times Magazine.

“About this business of fighting Jabhat al-Nusra?” Curtis said he asked his FSA captors.

“Oh, that,” one said. “We lied to the Americans about that.”

On September 12, 2015 Fox News posted a Wall Street Journal article, “Refugees pose as Syrians to open door to asylum in Europe,” which reported on how many of the aliens who have poured into Europe claiming to be refugees from Syria are actually citizens of other countries who are seizing the opportunity to falsely claim to be Syrians to be granted asylum in Europe.  This level of chaos could easily enable a relative handful of terrorists from a wide variety of countries to conceal themselves in this human tsunami.

What is happening in Europe mirrors what will happen in the United States as the administration moves to admit tens of thousands of refugees.

Read more

Also see:

Ex-Pentagon analyst: Terrorism “is truly a clear and present existential threat”

page-image (2)The Rebel, by Brian Lilley, Sep. 12, 2015:

I interviewed Stephen Coughlin, a former Pentagon Intelligence Analyst who says the West needs to wake up to the reality of the terror threat.

Coughlin, who will be speaking in Montreal on September 16 and Ottawa on September 17, says too often our political leaders are acting out of political considerations and ignoring the obvious facts in front of them.

Former CIA and DIA Operatives Warn of Another 9/11 Attack

Plumes of smoke pour from the World Trade Center buildings in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.

Plumes of smoke pour from the World Trade Center buildings in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.

US News, By Sara Carter, Sept. 11, 2015:

The United States could be facing another 9/11 attack as factions grow deeper among the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, especially with the recently confirmed death of the Taliban’s one-eyed leader Mullah Omar, according to a senior U.S. lawmaker, federal law enforcement and intelligence officials.

The tensions between Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and the Taliban is as dangerous a national security threat to the United States as it was before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said Brian Fairchild, who spent two decades with the CIA and has testified before Congress on terrorism.

“Right now, al-Qaida, under Zawahiri, needs the Khorasan group or some affiliated group to attack the U.S. again like 9/11 in order to lift up his stature and that of the organization,” Fairchild said. “He doesn’t want something small but something big – a big-scale attack like 9/11 to make him relevant again. This is an extremely dangerous time as Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban fight and compete for dominance.”

A 32-page Islamic State recruiting document obtained in Pakistan by American Media Institute detailed the growing division between the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. The document — authenticated by retired Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and two other senior U.S. intelligence officers — called for the Islamic State group to launch a war with India that would draw the United States into battle and end the world.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) also issued two threatening communications in August calling on believers to take action in the U.S. through more lone-wolf attacks, according to SITE Intelligence Group and Middle-East Research Institute, both of which track terror activity.

“Despite many years since 9/11, our enemies in the now Islamic State still see anniversaries as important times to stage attacks,” Flynn said. “And regardless of how far away we get from the original attack against America in 2001, our need to remain vigilant on this coming anniversary is as high as it has ever been. We have had more than sufficient warnings from our FBI in the past few weeks and months. Our nation must never back down from these vicious murderers.”

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told AMI on Sept. 3, the threat emanating from terrorist organizations has evolved since 2001.

“Since the 9/11 attacks we’ve seen the spread of jihadi ideology and the vacuum created under failed states,” McCaul said. “ISIS in Syria and Iraq is an example of that and the growth of the jihad movement has increased exponentially.”

The threat, however, has changed, McCaul said.

“Islamic State has enormous reach through the Internet and its dark space that allows the group to conduct and plan operations,” he said. “It is an area that leaves most of law enforcement and the intelligence community in the dark and its difficult, if not impossible, to combat…We call it terrorism gone viral. Bin Laden had cadres and couriers but with the Internet, they can radicalize thousands of fighters in a matter of minutes.”

BF quote on threatThe issue of “foreign fighters returning and hitting the homeland, which is a similar concern our European allies are facing at the moment, is something we are deeply concerned about as well,” he added.

Flynn explains that the failure to target the radical religious ideas behind the Islamic State group has given the terrorist group room to spread – not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world.

The threat of a “major war in South Asia goes beyond the scale that we have been dealing with in the wars we’ve fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. The likelihood of far more deadly weapons of mass destruction being applied certainly goes up,” Flynn said.

Fairchild said that since 2001, U.S. policy to dismantle safe-havens for terrorist organizations has failed.

“If you look at the world today there are sanctuaries all across the world. ISIS and al-Qaida affiliates are all over the world, in Yemen, Sinai, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Africa to name a few. The very premise of our counterterrorism policy has failed and our domestic security is being directly threatened,” he said.

Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron declined to comment on the current threats or the steps being taken by DHS to mitigate the threats.

Although the Islamic State group’s recruiting document details the deep divisions within the jihadi terror groups, it also states its reverence for Mullah Omar, who had escaped on a motorcycle following a United States mission to capture him in Afghanistan in 2001 and refused to turn Osama bin Laden over to authorities.

Known as the Emir of the Afghan Taliban, Omar rose to power in 1995 and aided and harbored members of al-Qaida before and after Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He reportedly died in 2013, but his death remained a secret until July 29, when the Afghanistan government acknowledged his death just two days before peace talks between the terrorist groups were scheduled to begin.

“In the past, well before the attack on the World Trade Center, the Americans tried to bribe the Emir of the Muslims of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Mullah Muhammad Omar with wealth, power, and better relations with the anti-messianic global brotherhood in exchange for Sheikh Osama bin Laden,” the document states. “After 9/11, when the U.S threatened to attack, the pious Emir of the Muslims of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said, ‘A momin’s (one who believes in God) honor cannot allow him to hand over his momin brother to infidels, even at the cost of power; a momin’s insurance is his faith which cannot be bargained.'”

Despite the apparent reverence for Omar, the Islamic State group wants to usurp the power in the region by encouraging al-Qaida’s fighters to defect and join their movement, the document said.

A Taliban official told the American Media Institute that Islamic State group leadership in the region is struggling to build recruitment and that the Taliban is engaged in continued fighting with its members.

When asked how the Afghan Taliban views the Islamic State group compared to the U.S. and NATO, the official said, “yes, [Islamic State] is much worse than [U.S. and NATO] – they are like a cancerous cell within the jihadi groups.”

“Mainly we have our alliances with al-Qaida and we host their core leadership in Afghanistan – we have support of Al Nusrah, AQAP and al-Shabab,” the official says. “But only the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is our sworn enemy. Taliban and al-Qaida has a single enemy among the Jihadi groups worldwide and that is the so-called Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, which is not according to Islam — they are deviants.”

U.S. Intelligence officials, who have direct knowledge of the region, said it is this competition between the various extremist groups has increased the threat to U.S. security both at home and abroad.

“Mullah Omar’s death could present opportunities for other terrorist organizations to recruit disenchanted Taliban members; create splinter groups who may seek peace settlements with the Afghanistan government; or possibly incentivize the Taliban to continue its fighting efforts,” a U.S. Intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.

The threat against U.S. assets, personnel overseas and the possibility of another 911 attack against the homeland “has increased since the rise of ISIL and intelligence agencies are monitoring it closely,” the intelligence official added.

Sara A. Carter is a writer for the American Media Institute. Follow her on Twitter: @SaraCarterDC

John Kerry’s Letter to Congress Is a ‘Guilty’ Plea to the Charge That Iran Deal Materially Supports Terrorism

john-kerry-just-gave-russia-a-final-warningPJ Media, by Andrew McCarthy, Sep. 9, 2015:

How could any member of Congress in good conscience support a deal that so blatantly empowers a brazen enemy of the United States — a regime that has killed thousands of Americans, a regime that daily continues to call for death to America and the annihilation of Israel — to the degree that even the Obama administration openly concedes that the deal materially supports terrorism?

No sooner did Obama lock up the Democratic support he needed in the Senate to ensure his deal cannot be defeated under the farcical Corker review process than did his Iran point-man, Secretary of State John Kerry, send a letter to members of Congress promising that more military aid would be given to Iran’s enemies, Israel and the Sunni Gulf states. Let’s put aside the absurdity of vowing, as Kerry does in the letter, that Obama’s deal will promote regional peace while simultaneously acknowledging that Iran’s enemies will need “increase[d] security assistance.” If the Obama administration were charged with committing material support to terrorism, a serious felony violation of federal law, Kerry’s letter would suffice as a “Guilty” plea.

The criminal statute that prohibits “providing material support to terrorists” (section 2339A of the federal penal code, Title 18) provides a jail sentence of up to 15 years — or up to life imprisonment if death results from the offense — for anyone who:

… provides material support or resources … knowing … that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, [an act of terrorism] … or in preparation for, or in carrying out, the concealment of an escape from the commission of any such violation, or attempts or conspires to do such an act[.]

The statute provides a sweeping definition of “material support or resources”:

The term “material support or resources” means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials[.]

With that background, let’s turn to Kerry’s letter to members of Congress. It explicitly admits to:

Iran’s continued support for terrorist and proxy groups throughout the region, its propping up of the Assad regime in Syria, its efforts to undermine the stability of its regional neighbors, and the threat it poses to Israel.

Note that the State Department expressly designates both Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism.

But this admitted “support for terrorist and proxy groups” is going to stop now thanks to Obama’s deal, right? Wrong. Kerry flatly confesses (my emphasis):

We have no illusion that this behavior will change following implementation of the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action– i.e., Obama’s Iran deal.]

Obama’s Iran deal will provide Iran with over $100 billion, and opens the door to its acquisition of sophisticated weaponry (wholly apart from Iran’s nuclear development activities).

It is, in short, the most astronomical provision of material support and resources to terrorism — as that term is defined in federal law (see above) — in the history of the world.

Kerry’s letter to Congress goes on to concede that, after implementation of the deal, there will be a continuing need “to deter and combat regional threats, including terrorism and Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.” Kerry elaborates that there will be continuing concerns about “arms transfers to Iranian backed Hizballah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen, and Shia militants in Iraq, as well as transfers involving North Korea.”

So, while the Obama administration ensures that money and materiel pour into Iran, Iran will continue to provide material support to terrorists, terrorist organizations, and terrorist regimes. In light of Kerry’s blatant acknowledgment of this fact, the State Department’s most recent report on Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, from 2014, is worth quoting at length:

Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2014, including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanese Hizballah, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. This year, Iran increased its assistance to Iraqi Shia militias, one of which is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), in response to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) incursion into Iraq, and has continued to support other militia groups in the region. Iran also attempted to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. While its main effort focused on supporting goals in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iran and its proxies also continued subtle efforts at growing influence elsewhere including in Africa, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.

Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Lebanese Hizballah, its primary beneficiary, and as a key pillar in its “resistance” front. In 2014, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of primarily Iraqi Shia and Afghan fighters to support the Asad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people in Syria, according to August UN estimates.

The IRGC-QF, in concert with Lebanese Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device (IED) technology and other advanced weaponry.

Iran has historically provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). These Palestinian terrorist groups have been behind a number of deaths from attacks originating in Gaza and the West Bank.

[I]n a November 25 speech, Supreme Leader Khamenei highlighted Iran’s military support to “Palestinian brothers” in Gaza and called for the West Bank to be similarly armed. In December, Hamas Deputy Leader Moussa Abu Marzouk announced bilateral relations with Iran and Hamas were “back on track.”

In March, Israeli naval forces boarded the Klos C cargo ship in the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan. On board, they found 40 M-302 rockets, 180 mortars, and approximately 400,000 rounds of ammunition hidden within crates of cement labeled “Made in Iran” and believed to be destined to militants in the region.

Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has also assisted in rearming Lebanese Hizballah, in direct violation of UNSCR 1701. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC Aerospace Force stated in November that “The IRGC and Hezbollah are a single apparatus jointed together,” and Lebanese Hizballah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem boasted that Iran had provided his organization with missiles that had “pinpoint accuracy” in separate November public remarks. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Lebanese Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters have used these skills in direct support of the Asad regime in Syria and, to a lesser extent, in support of operations against ISIL in Iraq. They have also continued to carry out attacks along the Lebanese border with Israel.

Hezbollah and Hamas have long been formally designated foreign terrorist organizations under federal law.

Obviously, there is no disputing the Obama administration’s patent knowledge that much of the material support its deal will provide to the terror-sponsoring regime in Tehran will be funneled to these and other designated foreign terrorist organizations. This means yet another criminal statute prohibiting material support to terrorism is implicated (Section 2339B of the federal penal code).

That law states:

Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

The statute goes on to require proof that an accused person knows:

 … that the organization is a designated terrorist organization[,] … that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorist activity[,] … or that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorism[.]

It is incontestable that President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and their subordinates know all three things about Hezbollah and Hamas, even though the statute requires knowledge of only one of them to establish guilt.

It bears emphasizing that for all their absurd claims about how the president’s Iran deal reins in Iran’s nuclear program, even Obama administration officials feel compelled to admit that Iran will step up its material support to terrorism while it is receiving the windfall from the deal.

That is not just unconscionable; it is criminal.

How can Obama’s Iran deal conceivably be supported by anyone who claims to oppose international terrorism or support Israel?

Also see:

VIDEO: Former Al-Qaeda Leader Says Obama-Aligned Muslim Brotherhood ‘Is One of the Most Dangerous Organizations’

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, September 8, 2015:

I had the opportunity to escort a U.S. congressional delegation to Egypt last week — we were sponsored by the Cairo-based Center for North Africa and Near East Security Studies.

One of the common themes we heard from senior government officials and experts was the active role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the ongoing terror campaign targeting military, police, and government officials, as well as  in the sabotage of infrastructure. I reported here at PJ Media back in June on the Brotherhood’s escalating violence.

There have been a number of signs this past year indicating that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has effectively dropped its non-violent mask, including:

Despite media reports that the group is “divided” over the use of violence, the group has unmistakably made its position clear.

One expert very familiar with the workings and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is the founder and former head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Sheikh Nabil Naeem. He lived with both Osama bin Laden and current al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri, and witnessed the formation of al-Qaeda. In Afghanistan, he served as bin Laden’s personal bodyguard, and was Zawahiri’s long-time “right arm.”

On my last trip to Cairo, my colleague Steve Coughlin and I had the opportunity to interview Sheikh Nabil at his office for more than nine hours over two days.

During that interview we discussed a number of topics, including the trajectory of the global jihadist movement, the development of terrorist organizations in the Sinai, and his experience with EIJ and al-Qaeda until his arrest and eventual rejection of jihadist ideology.


But at the end of our interview with Sheikh Nabil, he began explaining how the Muslim Brotherhood is “one of the most dangerous organizations.”

In response to that statement, I requested that we video record Sheikh Nabil’s response to our questions on this issue as well as his previous statements on the group, which we exclusively present in translation here.

Along the way, he explodes commonly held myths among the Washington, D.C., foreign policy community, including the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced violence and that there are no connections between the Brotherhood and terror groups in Sinai.

Q: Why do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most dangerous organizations?

Nabil: First we accuse the Obama administration of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood to rule Egypt and supporting Morsi’s presidential campaign. Senator McCain also admitted his support to the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.

Accordingly, it is not expected from the Obama administration to neither acknowledge Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization nor acknowledge their ties to other terrorist organizations. That would mean the Obama admin and the Democrats acknowledge and support a terrorist group.

But we know that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization and all their confessions are available at the prosecution office. And I can tell you how the prosecution process work because I have been through questioning for 35 years.

If any torture takes place it might happen in the police station, but never the prosecution and they are very careful in regards to the legal procedure. That is why any confessions at the prosecution are called the matter of all evidence.

I personally know ABM are improvised, as well as AQ too. What they use is Muslim Brotherhood money and they admitted this repeatedly.

Q: The Muslim Brotherhood present themselves in the United States as moderate Islam and the only alternative to al-Qaeda. Since you have witnessed the formation of al-Qaeda, do you believe this is true?

Nabil: First the Muslim Brotherhood presented themselves to Mubarak as the alternative to all the takfiri/terrorist groups in Egypt, but the truth is Muslim Brotherhood are the main sponsors of them alland that is the Muslim Brotherhood’s way in promoting themselves as the alternative.

Like they did with Luxor massacre, they sponsored and supported terrorist groups to attack tourism in Egypt. Back in the 1990s Abu Walid, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who used to live in Germany, traveled to Afghanistan and met with Refaie Taha and Ayman Al-Zawahiri to arrange with them what was later known as the Luxor massacre.

At the same time the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt condemned the attack to convince the audience of their moderation.

This is a simple tactic: in order for the Muslim Brotherhood to appear as moderate group, they need the terrorists to commit acts of terrorism so the people would see the difference.

However, knowing the Muslim Brotherhood means knowing they are devil’s allies.

Q: Back in the 1970s the Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence, but we still see other groups ideologically bound to them like Hamas still using violence. What do you believe?

Nabil: The Muslim Brotherhood are double-faced liars, they claim they renounced violence but I will cite a conversation between Ghassan bin Jiddo and Abdul Monem Abul Fotouh that will sum them up.

Ghassan said you (the Muslim Brotherhood) claim that you renounced violence and you said that you don’t topple regimes, although you used violence with Abdul Nasser in Egypt and when Hamas and Fatah had a disagreement, Hamas committed the Gabalya massacre and their mufti, Youssef Al-Astal, endorsed killing Fatah members and Hamas killed 700 of them in a single day.

It is their deeds versus their words, which would you believe?

The Muslim Brotherhood are terrorists and they killed too many people, even after June 30 and I myself witnessed the Al-Itehadia massacre when they killed 13 innocent citizens — one of them a child because he was carrying Sisi’s poster. They shot him in the back of his head.

Even Ibn Khaldoun Center that is sponsored by the U.S. released a report about the Rabia sit-in and documented about 44 cases of Muslim Brotherhood torturing innocent citizens, 33 of which died of torture.

Q: We are trying to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. What do you believe the Americans should know?

Nabil: I would advise the Americans to read books written by the Muslim Brotherhood about themselves. Dots on Letters by Ahmed Adel Kamal where he proudly documented the Muslim Brotherhood terror attacks calling them jihad. The other book is by Mahmoud Al-Sabbagh called The Truth About the Secret Organization where he listed all the facts about the Muslim Brotherhood militias and how they were used to attack the opposition.

For the present times, Americans should monitor the Muslim Brotherhood and what they do in Syria, Egypt, Libya and everywhere they are.


I will be reporting more from Egypt later this week.

Why is Qassem Suleimani Smiling? The Iran Deal and Sanctions Relief for Terrorists

qassem-suleimanIran Truth, by |

Experts speaking at the Hudson Institute on Friday drew on Iran’s history in dealing with its neighbors and America to paint an accurate picture of how Iran will act in the aftermath of the Deal’s implementation.

“Over the last 35 years, there has not been an event that has warranted this tilt towards Iran. There has not been one single event that warrants this pivot towards Iran,” Michael Pregent, Executive Director of Veterans Against the Deal said. “Hope is not a method.”

Derek Harvey, Director of the Global Initiative on Civil Society and Conflict at the University of South Florida, said that the Deal only empowers the Iranian regime, in the form of funding and validation, to continue the same behavior they have assumed for the last thirty-five years. He said the Deal proves to the Iranians that their current tactic is effective, and emboldens them to pursue their ultimate goal of achieving regional hegemony. He added that there is no reason to believe that Iran has changed its agenda.

“I worry that a renewed, and validated, and better resourced Iran will just continue its hegemonic aspirations in the region, and they’ve been very effective at sewing disorder, taking advantage of their proximity, and using their a-symmetric capabilities to advance their interests,” Harvey said. “Fundamentally it’s going to empower the regime and give them military capabilities that are going to be detrimental to our interests and our allies interests in the region. We don’t have any real evidence of the character or nature of this regime changing.”

Harvey said that despite many Iranians being “westernized,” educated in Western institutions and English speaking, America must not be fooled to believe that we share common interests or ideas. Although some of them may appear similar to Westerners and are perhaps relatable to Americans, they maintain the ideology, which they were raised in. He said that America must not assume that Iranians have abandoned their extremist worldview because they lived elsewhere than Iran. Ultimately, America must assume that Iran will be governed according to the fundamentalist ideology that has prevailed thus far.

“Just because people have been to Western schools, speak fluent English, are very comfortable in dealing with Americans and Western Europeans, does not mean that they don’t have hardline, ideological, religious underpinnings that justify how they are performing and what they intend to do in leadership positions in that country. I think we are deceiving ourselves in projecting onto them things that are not there,” he said.

Pregent said that America must consider why sanctions were implemented in the first place, as a predictor of where the money will go after sanctions relief. He explained that Iranian money was sanctioned because it was being funneled to terrorist groups, and there is no reason to believe the funds will be re-allocated upon being unfrozen.

“The thing about this deal is, people say the money is going to go back to the Iranian people. Well the money was sanctioned, to begin with, because it was involved in terrorist activity. The money was sanctioned to begin with because it was involved in the procurement of military materials that would lead to a nuclear capability. So it’s not going to go back to the people,” he said.

Iran will act as it wishes, given the Iranian government does not feel deterred, according to Harvey. Iran sees America’s lack of retaliation as a pass to continue its rogue behavior in pursuit of regional dominance. “Iranians understand our reluctance to strike back,” he said.

Watch the video below.

Also see:

Islamic State-linked Twitter Account Threatens New Attacks In US For 9/11

IPT, by John Rossomando,  Sep. 1, 2015:

Several tweets from an Islamic State follower identifying himself as Abu Mohammed al-Khorasani hint that the terror group could be plotting new attacks inside the U.S. on the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.

A tweet featuring the Twitter hashtags ILLINOIS#, #11septmber and #KillAllAmericans went out at 12:04 p.m. Monday Aug. 31 saying, “Peace on the P.K. [a kind Russian machine gun] Its shots are thematic (rhymes) It strikes America. Our State is victorious.” A photo of the second airliner just before it hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 appeared in the tweet.

Six minutes later, al-Khorasani tweeted the same hashtags together with a muddled Arabic phrase saying, “If you say to me, Dushka (a kind of Russian machine gun) Oh God, You have a petitioner (Masha, rhymes with Dushka) He strikes America [sic] and our State is victorious.” A graphic saying, “every American citizen is a legitimate target for us,” followed the text.

On Sunday, al-Khorasani wrote a similar threat, saying “SOON,” accompanied by an image of Osama Bin Laden and images of the Sept. 11 hijackers.


He showed his affection for Bin Laden in a tweet today, taunting Americans, “When you killed Sheikh Osama thrown his pure body in the sea for fear of Dead But U did not know that we have millions of #Sheikh Osama.”

Talk and images of what appeared to be a suicide vest or vests immediately followed the threats which included the #ISIS and #IslamicState hashtags.

Al-Khorasani wrote in a tweet at 12:38 p.m., “You have the aircraft You have the rockets You have the launchers We have explosive belts to kill U #IslamicState.” He tweeted again at 12:44 p.m.: “You have F22 You have tanks You have guns But we have Belts #IslamicState #ISIS.”

These tweets follow a summer of Islamic State followers posting images of the Statue of Liberty in ruins, with New York in flames in the background, and saying, “Coming Soon.” Additionally, the image depicting the aftermath of an attack on an American city has not been isolated to New York. One such image tweeted from an Islamic State account on July 28 addressed to Lone Wolves showed a masked jihadist running from an explosion in an unnamed American city.


A statement ominously saying, “O Cross Worshipers Lone Wolves Will Hunt You In America’s Streets” overlaid the graphic. Another tweet by Islamic State supporter nightwalker/lonewolfe posted Aug. 21 depicted jihadists in Times Square with the script, “We Are Everywhere.”

In April, the New York Post reported that Islamic State supporters released a video threatening to unleash a new September 11-style attack, saying that the group’s fighters are stronger than those who brought down the Twin Towers.”Thus they are able to burn United States again,” the video said.

One thing is clear, Islamic State supporters want to remind Americans the group wants to strike against Americans on their own soil at a time and place of the terrorists’ choosing.

Iran: Never Held Accountable

230730e (1)Center for Security Policy, by Christopher Holton, August 30, 2015:

The Obama administration has embarked upon a path to reward decades of bad behavior by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the futile hope that Iran will become benevolent and cease its warlike actions and intentions toward the West in general and the U.S. and Israel in particular.

As futile as the idea of negotiating a nuclear deal with the Ayatollahs seems to sober Americans and our allies today, we must first set the record straight on those policies of the past that Obama and his supporters say that they are determined to change: America has never had a “tough” policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran has been allowed to kidnap and kill Americans for decades, whether directly or by proxy, without fear of severe repercussions. For years the U.S. State Department has declared that Iran is the world’s “most active” sponsor of terrorism, yet the Ayatollahs have not been forced to pay a significant price. Iran has armed and aided our enemies –including al Qaeda-and threatened our allies and has gotten away with it.
Iran has killed Americans for over 40 years, sponsored Hezbollah, HAMAS and al Qaeda and has repeatedly threatened America and our allies.
Iran was complicit in the Hezbollah Islamikaze attacks on the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in April 1983 and the US Marine barracks there in October 1983. In the attack on the Marine barracks, 241 U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers were killed. In fact, until September 11, 2001, Hezbollah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization.
It should be pointed out that Iran is not just a sponsor of Hezbollah. Iran formed Hezbollah and has always trained and continues to train its operatives in Lebanon and inside Iran. Hezbollah basically operates as an Iranian foreign legion.
Worst of all, the Iranians have been developing nuclear weapons in violation of international law (along with the ballistic missiles with which to deliver them) and, still, there has been no tough policy toward Iran.
Though it may seem to many Americans as if the Iranian nuclear program has only come about in the past few years, it has actually been known to policymakers for a very long time.
Consider that over 20 years ago in the January 4, 1994 edition of USA Today, Clinton administration Undersecretary of State Lynn Davis had this to say about Iran’s nuclear program: “Iran’s actions leave little doubt that Tehran is intent upon developing a nuclear weapons capability. They are inconsistent with any rational civil nuclear program.”
What did the Clinton administration do to head off Iran’s nuclear program after this startling admission about Iran’s nuclear intentions? Virtually nothing.
For nearly three decades now since Iranian “students” invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took U.S. hostages, sanctions against Iran have been a widely believed urban legend – and nothing more.
Even during that hostage crisis of 1979-81, President Carter was unsuccessful in convincing our closest NATO allies and Japan to participate in economic sanctions against Iran. Not even Great Britain was willing to cut off trade with Iran during that crisis period.
The U.S. has had to “go it alone” on Iran for decades. But even the U.S. has imposed only limited unilateral sanctions against Iran and never broad, far-reaching sanctions. Three successive administrations, Clinton, Bush and Obama didn’t even bother to enforce our own sanctions against Iran.
The Iran Sanctions Act, authored by Sen. Alphonse D’Amato of New York passed both houses of Congress with virtually no opposition back in 1996. That bill would have placed any foreign oil company with over $20 million in investments in Iran’s oil and gas sector under U.S. sanctions. Companies like Shell and Total would have been forced to choose between doing business in America or in Iran. President Clinton signed it into law – and promptly issued waivers by executive order to every single oil company that would have been affected. Unfortunately, President Bush, on the advice of the geniuses at the State Department, continued that same waiver policy during his eight years in office. Unsurprisingly, Obama has followed suit as the list of foreign oil companies doing business in Iran became more Russian and Chinese in recent years.
Moreover, America has allowed our own corporations to bypass U.S. sanctions laws by using foreign cut-outs and subsidiaries to do business with the Ayatollahs. In fact, during the eight years of the Bush administration, U.S. trade with Iran actually expanded. This is especially shocking given that during much of this period Iran was operating directly in support of Jihadist insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan who were killing American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, providing the terrorists with training, logistics, safe haven and advanced weaponry.
Iran was the primary supplier of deadly EFP-IEDs (Explosively Formed Penetrator-Improvised Explosive Devices) to the insurgents in Iraq and operated training camps for those insurgents inside Iran.
As for sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, they have been even more limited to certain aspects of nuclear technology and arms, with virtually no impact on the Iranian economy. Even these limited sanctions have no teeth at all, which is why Iran’s largest arms suppliers, Russia and China, were willing to allow them to pass in the first place.
The fact is, Iran has felt little economic pressure due to sanctions since that day 21+ years ago in January 1994 when the Clinton State Department admitted to USA Today that Iran was working on nuclear weapons.
Our government has failed us. Our leaders have failed us.
What is so frustrating to those of us who are worried about the Iranian threat and have for years sought a peaceful means of addressing Iran’s nuclear program and its sponsorship of terrorism, is the fact that there have never been any meaningful measures taken to bring pressure on Iran.
It is especially disappointing that America and the rest of the Free World are not willing to apply economic leverage on Iran right now because now President Obama is poised to hand the genocidal Ayatollahs in Qom a windfall of hundreds of billions of dollars in both sanctions relief and freed assets.
President Obama has declared repeatedly that “there’s been a lot of mistrust built up over the years” between the US and Iran.
Given that Iran has made killing Americans its national sport and sponsoring Jihadist terrorist organizations its national pastime, why should America trust the Ayatollahs?
The next time someone tells you that we need to approve the Iranian nuclear deal “because sanctions haven’t worked,” you should point out that tough, comprehensive sanctions have never been imposed on Iran.
One day, we are all going to wake up, turn on the TV news and discover that the Ayatollahs have The Bomb. Our children and our children’s children will always wonder how we let it happen.
Also see:

Why the US government is on track to ‘normalizing’ ISIS

 (AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

New York Post, by Alex VanNess, August 23, 2015:How long will it take the United States to recognize the Islamic State as a legitimate actor?

That may sound ridiculous. After all, ISIS is a barbaric and sociopathic band of terrorists who proudly highlight their brutality over the Internet. Unfortunately, recent history suggests this doesn’t disqualify them, as horrific as it sounds, from eventual recognition.

Since before 9/11, the Taliban laid claim to numerous terror attacks on civilian populations throughout Afghanistan. They harbored Osama bin Laden, and since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, they’ve been directly responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 American troops.

Yet in January, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest cryptically explained that the Taliban was not a terrorist group but instead falls under a “different classification.”

Earnest’s verbal gymnastics were deployed in the service of explaining away the president’s decision to trade five members of the Taliban for the release of American soldier-captive Bowe Bergdahl.

Hamas is an openly anti-Semitic terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including several Americans. Since its creation, the Gaza-based Hamas has been dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Hamas is brutally repressive toward women and gays; they have a tendency to savagely drag dead bodies through the streets.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new unity government that incorporated Hamas-appointed ministers. Instead of cutting off financial support to the new government, as required by US law, the Obama administration jumped through hoops to legitimize the new government. Officials said they would continue supporting the Palestinian government because the new ministers were “technocrats” that “don’t represent . . . hard-core Hamas leadership.”

The legitimacy granted to Hamas by this administration is a reflection of the trend held by many pro-Palestinian protestors who now brazenly chant, “we are Hamas!” through the streets of US cities such as Miami.

Cuba has a long history of human-rights abuse. The Cuban government regularly harasses and imprisons dissidents and has been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades. Cuba continues to serve as a safe haven for terrorists and maintains close ties to both North Korea and Iran.

In 2013, Cuba was caught sending weapons to North Korea. It aids terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Iranian proxy Hezbollah and the Basque Fatherland of Liberty (ETA).

Despite this behavior, the administration still decided to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and has begun the process of normalizing the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

The State Department justified this removal by stating that “Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months” and citing vague promises that they “will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”

So to recap, within this past year we have stopped referring to the Taliban as terrorists, provided de facto recognition and funding to Hamas and have opened up to the repressive terror-sponsoring Cuban government.

Why should we assume that ISIS will be treated any differently than these groups?

As each day passes, ISIS solidifies its presence in the region. Sure, ISIS commits terrible atrocities. The group regularly — and indiscriminately — beheads innocent people; rapes women and sells them as sex slaves and employs children as executioners.

But its leaders have undeniably been working to establish the Islamic State as, well, as a functioning state. They issue identification cards, pave roads, pick up trash, operate power stations and offer social-welfare programs.

ISIS has carved out its territory by filling the Middle East’s power vacuums, and are thus, in some places, the only game in town. How long before the international community recognizes the ISIS government?

The past precedent of legitimizing various terrorist groups and repressive dictatorships make this all too real of an issue. It’s imperative that the United States stops this trajectory of providing legitimacy to these regimes and turns back the ISIS tide, or we may one day soon be debating the opening of an embassy to the Islamic State in what used to be Iraq.

Alex VanNess is the manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.

Terror Victims’ Lawsuit Seeks to Block Iran Deal’s Sanctions Relief

230730eby IPT News  •  Aug 5, 2015

A deal to provide Iran with as much as $150 billion in sanctions relief over its nuclear weapons program should be blocked until the Islamic Republic pays court-awarded damages to American victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, a lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York federal court said.

The plaintiffs, victims of attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, have judgments worth $152 million that they have been unable to collect. Similar lawsuits in U.S. courts have generated billions of dollars more in damages. Iran, the lawsuit said, should not see a dime of sanctions relief until those victims are compensated.

By law, the lawsuit said, Iran should not be granted any relief until there is “a certification by the President that Iran is no longer a financier and sponsor of terror. That terrorism condition has not been satisfied.”

Even the White House admits that Iran continues to sponsor international terrorism.

The lawsuit, facilitated by Shurat Hadin, or Israel Law Center, names the departments of State and Treasury, along with their respective secretaries, John Kerry and Jacob Lew. The two departments are responsible for enacting and enforcing the sanctions against Iran.

Releasing the frozen Iranian assets strips victims of “their last remaining opportunity to pressure Iran to satisfy their judgments,’ the lawsuit said. And it violates terms of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, passed by Congress in 2002. The law aimed to help victims enforce their judgments by pursuing blocked assets belonging to terror sponsors. It contains the phrase “Notwithstanding any other provision of law,” which should prevail over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the Iran deal, negotiated by the U.S. and the P5+1 allies, the lawsuit said.

The Iran deal therefore undermines “both (i) the intent of Congress to allow Plaintiffs, who are victims of Iranian terrorism, to enforce their judgments against a broad range of blocked assets and (ii) Plaintiffs’ judgments themselves, each of which was issued by a United States federal court, the lawsuit said.

The victims recently investigated funds held in foreign banks which belong to the Central Bank of Iran, one of the many financial institutions which stand to gain sanctions relief. But discovery efforts have been difficult, the lawsuit said. Once the sanctions are lifted, victims’ hopes of securing any of the money owed to them likely disappear.

Wednesday’s lawsuit comes as the Justice Department considers intervening in a separate case that resulted in as much as $655 million in damages against the Palestinian Authority for terrorist attacks that killed or wounded Americans between 2001 and 2004.

Read the full lawsuit about Iran’s sanctions here.


Three ISIS Terror Trials This Week in America

A terrorist attack on a beach in Key West Florida (pictured) was foiled by the FBI. (Photo: © Wikicommons)

A terrorist attack on a beach in Key West Florida (pictured) was foiled by the FBI. (Photo: © Wikicommons)

Clarion Project, July 29, 2015:

A man who plotted to detonate a nail bomb on a Florida beach was charged on Tuesday.

Harlem Suarez, 23, obtained bomb supplies, including two boxes of nails, from an FBI informant, according to a criminal complaint. Suarez is alleged to have told the informant of his intention to construct a bomb, bury it on a beach in Key West and then detonate it remotely.

In a recorded call Suarez said “I can go to the beach at the nighttime, put the thing in the sand, cover it up, so the next day I just call and the thing is gonna, is gonna make, a real hard noise from nowhere.”

His Facebook account is littered with praise for the Islamic State. One post in April allegedly read “Be a warrior, learn how to cut your enemies head and then burn down the body learn how to be the new future of the world Caliphate.”

ISIS is seeking to build a global Islamic Caliphate and conquer the world.

He also attempted to purchase an AK-47 online. Despite the fact that he was legally allowed to do so, he filled out the paperwork incorrectly and the rifle was returned to sender.

He has been denied bail.

Another Floridian Islamic State sympathizer was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on Monday, for possession of a firearm while a convicted felon.

In a criminal complaint, the FBI alleges he asked an informant to buy guns for him, describing himself as a ‘lone wolf’ for ISIS. He described himself on Facebook as Azizi al Hariri and posted pictures of himself posing with guns.

The complaint read:

“Diaz stated he would then take the .308 shell casings and scratch ISIS into the casings. Diaz stated that after killing people, authorities would find the ISIS engraved shell casings and then know there was a sniper in town. Diaz continued to state that a sniper could disrupt a city for a week or two until being caught. Thereafter, Diaz stated one had better be ready to shoot himself, but until that time the sniper would put the city in checkmate.”

He had several guns and some ammunition in his car when he was arrested.

Also on Tuesday, a Georgia man was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for attempting to join the Islamic State. Leon Nathan Davis was arrested at Atlanta airport having bought a one way ticket to Turkey, with the goal of travelling from there to the Islamic State.

During sentencing he apologized profusely and reportedly sobbed. He told the judge “I allowed myself to stray away from the truth of my religion, which is peace, love and humility. They brainwashed me into thinking that hatred and death were the way into heaven.”

The judge was unmoved by his pleas and handed down the maximum possible sentence.

U.S. security forces foiled “over 60” Islamic State terrorist plots over the past year, according to the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul.

Tallying Right-Wing Terror vs. Jihad



Bloomberg View, by By Megan McArdle, June 30, 2015:

How much should we worry about Islamic terrorism? How much should we worry about other kinds?

There’s no exact right answer to this question. Who is out there in dark places plotting murder most foul? We can only guess, using imperfect information. Of course, there’s “imperfect” and then there’s downright distorted.

The New York Times highlighted one data set recently, in an article headlined “Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11.” “Since Sept. 11, 2001,” the article says, “nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.” The article goes on to cite a nationwide survey of police and sheriffs departments, noting that “74 percent listed antigovernment violence, while 39 percent listed ‘Al Qaeda-inspired’ violence, according to the researchers.” Well, I guess that settles that, then.

Ah, no. You’ve been reading this column too long to believe that. Statistics are useful, but fragile. How you handle them makes a big difference.

The most obvious thing to note is the choice of start date: Sept. 12, 2001. That neatly excludes an attack that would dwarf all those homegrown terror attacks by several orders of magnitude. Ah, you will say, but that was a one-time event. Sort of. It is no longer possible to destroy the World Trade Center, but we can’t be certain to never again have a large-scale terror attack that kills many people. If you have high-magnitude but low-frequency events, then during most intervals you choose to study, other threats will seem larger — but if you zoom out, the big, rare events will still kill more people. We don’t say that California should stop worrying about earthquake-proofing its buildings, just because in most years bathtub drownings are a much larger threat to its citizens.

The other thing to ask is how we’re defining a terror event and classifying the motivation. I took a little stroll through the underlying data, and on the “jihadist violence” side, the definition is pretty clear: with the exception of one case in which a Muslim who seemed fond of jihadist propaganda beheaded a coworker for reasons that are not entirely clear, the rest of the attacks involved someone with an ideological commitment to radical Islam trying to kill a bunch of people in a way that made it clear that this was about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Counting the other types of extremist terrorism is a little murkier. Some of them are fairly obvious: When a white supremacist starts shooting people at a Sikh temple, I don’t think we need to wonder too hard what his motives were. On the other hand, the data set The Times relies on also includes Andrew Joseph Stack, who you may remember piloted a small plane into an IRS building in Austin. Stack left a manifesto behind, and it doesn’t exactly read like an anarcho-capitalist treatise. Oh, he’s mad at the government, all right, but he’s mad about … the 1986 revision to Section 1706 of the tax code, which governs the treatment of technical contractors. Here are some other things Andrew Stack was angry about:

  • The bailouts of GM and Wall Street
  • Drug companies and health insurers (Obamacare was then stalled in Congress)
  • The Catholic Church and the “monsters of organized religion”
  • The Pennsylvania steel bankruptcies that gutted steelworker pensions
  • Now-defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen
  • Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (because of Section 1706)
  • The California base closings of the early 1990s
  • The 1980s S&L crisis
  • Government aid to airlines after 9/11
  • His accountant
  • George W. Bush

Its closing lines are “The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.” Labeling this as a “deadly right-wing attack” is beyond a stretch; it’s not even arguably correct.

Nor is this the only questionable inclusion. Consider Raymond Peake, who was convicted of shooting someone at a firing range, apparently in the course of stealing his gun (it was not the first time Peake had stolen a gun, but it was the first time he’d shot anyone); he appears to be on the list on the basis of a single vague statement from law-enforcement that Peake had been stealing guns for an unidentified organization aimed at overthrowing the United States government. His “co-conspirator,” whose lawyer denied that he had any knowledge of Peake’s alleged crimes, ultimately plead guilty not to conspiracy to overthrow the government, but to receiving stolen property. Maybe there was a shadowy plot to overthrow the U.S. government with the four guns they found in the co-conspirator’s home. On the other hand, maybe a suspect just started rambling when he was arrested for murder.

Then there was Joshua Cartwright of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, who shot two deputies when his wife called the cops to stop him from hitting her. This was elevated to a “deadly right-wing attack” because, according to New America, “Cartwright had a history of non-compliance with the police and Cartwright’s wife told police that he held anti-government views and was ‘severely disturbed’ by President Obama’s election.” All this may be true. But it’s dangerous to profile so that every person with vaguely stated right-wing views, or even not-so-right-wing views, becomes an avatar of that group, rather than an individual who happens to be a member of that group, and also happens to have done something bad.

The case of Robert Poplawski is similarly questionable. He ambushed three officers who responded when his mother called the police on him. He also frequented white supremacist websites and espoused anti-government racist views, according to the database. He alsowrote his grandmother’s name in his own blood on a bedroom wall on the day of the shooting, and told the police negotiator “You know, I’m a good kid, officer. … This is really an unfortunate occurrence, sir.” Which does not exactly sound like a crazed right-wing terrorist determined to take down the government By Any Means Necessary.

Add to the list of “not clear what he was thinking, but probably not domestic terrorism” Curtis Wade Holley, who set fire to his own home and then shot at the first responders. The timeline suggests he was upset because his ex-girlfriend finally had his utilities shut off and he was worried about being evicted or losing his car, something he’d vowed not to endure without a fight. The evidence for him as a “right-wing attacker,” rather than just a paranoid and broke marijuana grower, seems to be that someone, possibly the ex-girlfriend, had called police to say that he had anti-government views and would shoot cops if they came to his place. Would a similar situation with someone known to be an Irish nationalist be an example that The Troubles had crossed the Atlantic to the United States?

I find it very hard to understand why these cases were included, except to pad out the count of “deadly right-wing attacks.” Presumably we are looking for political terror for a political purpose, not every violent crime by a Muslim or a right-winger. This means the acts must include some amount of premeditation, some intent to pursue an ideology, not a flash shootout precipitated by a completely unrelated event, like beating your wife or getting your utilities shut off. Restricting the count to attacks that seem to have had a political purpose, and an ideology that could be convincingly described as “right wing,” drops the tally of right-wing terror to 41 or less.

I’m also somewhat dubious about Albert Gaxiola, Shawna Forde and Joshua Bush, who killed a man and his 9-year-old daughter while robbing their house.  The database says “The three conducted the robbery to help fund their anti-immigrant organization.” But prosecutors told jurors that “it was Gaxiola who suggested Forde and Bush ought to rob and kill Flores. Gaxiola wanted Flores dead because he was a rival drug smuggler.” Forde and Bush were, according to prosecutors, seeking money to fund their Minutemen organization, but once you start to bring black-market assassinations into this, things start looking a little murkier than a case of “deadly right-wing attacks.”

To be generous and round up the numbers for right-wing terror, I could argue for including the Gaxiola trio and Peake. However, once you start throwing in the gray cases on the right-wing side, shouldn’t we be similarly permissive on the Islamic terror side? In prison, one of the Beltway snipers penned rambling anti-American screeds in which the Baltimore Sun said that “the most recurring theme is that of jihad – or holy war – against America.” The Beltway snipers killed 10 people, which all by itself would bring the number of jihadist killings up to 36. Then the story becomes less “right-wing terror is much more dangerous than jihad” and more “Muslim terrorists have killed some people in the United States, and other kinds of ideological murderers have too.”

What’s the takeaway? Never think that because you have a nice, hard-sounding number, that number tells you what you want to know. Numbers don’t just grow in the wild; they are chosen, by parameters that the researchers decide. The parameters these particular researchers chose might not be the criteria you would use; they are certainly not the ones that I would have chosen. And even if you agree that these are absolutely the right and proper numbers, that stilldoesn’t tell us that right-wing terror is more dangerous to us, the living, than to the people during the time period they studied. To know that, you would need to know who remains out there, plotting dark things.


What Fireworks Does ISIS Plan for the 4th of July?

0 (5)PJ Media, by  James Jay Carafano On June 29, 2015:

What to make of reports that ISIS may try to pull off a terrorist attack on Independence Day?

Let’s look at the facts.

It is not the first time after 9/11 that U.S. authorities have expressed concerns about possible terrorist attacks timed to coincide with significant dates like the 4th of July.  In 2011, a senior U.S. official told reporters, “We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington, D.C.,” timed for the anniversary of al Qaeda’s big attack on the two cities. Some hold that the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was scheduled to coincide with 9/11.   In fact, warnings of impending terror threats from authorities go back as far as 2002.

Next, we know that ISIS is active—both promoting and inspiring transnational terrorist attacks. Just last week near simultaneous assaults occurred in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.

Further, the US remains a prime target for terrorist activity.  There was another Islamist terrorist related plot uncovered last week—the third in less than a month.

Additionally, we can’t even be sure of where an attack might happen. Terrorists have contemplated hitting everything from high-profile targets in big cities to shopping malls in the suburbs.

None of that necessarily means that something bad will happen between grilling the hot dogs, cheering on the main street parades and watching the fireworks over the capitol.

Coordinating a terrorist attack to happen at a specific time and place, particularly when there will likely be heightened awareness and security, complicates the challenge of pulling off a terror strike–though those obstacles didn’t thwart two relative amateurs who bombed the Boston Marathon (and who had also considered conducting an attack on Independence Day).

Still, if an attack does occur the odds of any particular American being a victim are pretty small.  That’s cold comfort, as the real purpose of terrorist attacks is to terrorize us, killing us is just a consequence.

Best advice is to have a nice day, but take the common-sense precautions that people should always take in public. There are plenty of lists out there of the right steps to take. Read one.

The reality is that even the best security can’t child-proof a free society.  On July 4, of all days, Americans shouldn’t want it any other way. When a free society gives up on freedom the terrorists win.


Also see:


I’ve been searching for a good article on situational awareness and there is precious little out there. If my readers can find any please leave links in a comment. Here is an interesting one:

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Fear Tactics Have Proven Successful For ISIS


CSP, by Julian Fleischman, June 26, 2015:

Another horrifying video has emerged from ISIS, depicting 15 accused spies being murdered brutally and bizarrely. Some are executed in a car by an RPG fired by an ISIS soldier, while others are decapitated by an explosive necklace. The most unusual and disturbing method of execution shown in the video is a scene in which five prisoners are drowned in a cage. An expensive underwater camera is even used to capture the final agonizing moments of the prisoners’ lives.

While ISIS is certainly upping the ante in both the production and shock value of their publications, these videos are nothing new. In August 2014, ISIS released their first beheading video of American journalist James Foley. They released more footage of beheadings, including that of Israeli-American Steven Sotloff and the murder of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh who was burned alive in a cage in a strikingly sophisticated and sickening production.

With each video more barbaric than the last, ISIS is clearly sending a message to the world. However, there have been numerous interpretations as to what exactly this message is.

Experts such as Ryan Mauro of the Clarion project claim that the videos are used by ISIS militants to warn “enemies” of Islam based on their distorted interpretation of the Koran:

“These executions are chosen to show their compliance with sharia law,” said Mauro, “ISIS is acting upon doctrines that say spies and apostates, those who leave Islam, are to be executed.”

However, this high-budget propaganda machine most likely has an even greater purpose than to portray themselves as “legitimate followers of Islam;” ISIS is employing the age-old political strategy of fear tactics. The SS used it to consolidate control of their citizens in Nazi Germany, as did Mao in China and Stalin in Russia. Currently, North Korea carries out public executions, sometimes in front of victims’ families.

The purpose of such cruelty is to deter the enemy by creating horror and panic so that the enemy, regardless of military capacity, would be paralyzed to fight ISIS by the mere image of falling in the hands of people who practice such barbarism.

This strategy of terror has proven successful as evidence in fleeing Iraqi soldiers and upwards of 500,000 Mosul residents in the Northern Iraq offensive of June 2014.

Since this offensive, ISIS’s thirst for domination has only grown and the people of the Middle East have turned increasingly fearful. In the aftermath of the fall of Ramadi in May, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told CNN that Iraqi forces had no will to fight ISIS in that city. The Iraqi forces were not only provided with superior military training and equipment by the U.S., but they vastly outnumbered the ISIS forces. It is reasonable to assume that fear played an important role as millions of people continue to flee from the areas threatened by ISIS, namely, Iraq and Syria.

Furthermore, such fear has also created the so called “ “astronaut phenomenon”: that is,regular soldiers who bribe commanders to leave danger zones, such as Anbar, Salahaddin and Diyala, where they are expected to see combat against ISIS. This has significantly reduced many military units from 500 men to about 300 men.

This problem is not likely to improve, regardless of foreign aid.

This “visual” strategy is a powerful tool for ISIS, particularly in view of the fact that ISIS aspires to gain influence and power in areas where the state has collapsed and anarchy prevails. Yemen and Libya are two embattled countries where ISIS has aspirations and where such tactics can serve the Islamic State well. It was reported just last week that an ISIS car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in Yemen’s capital. Earlier this month, 88 Eritrean Christians were kidnapped by ISIS in Libya. And just today, ISIS carried out at least two more attacks: a car bomb in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and an attack on a Tunisian beach, killing a total of at least 63, and injuring hundreds more. Many of those killed in Tunisia were western tourists.

The only sign of hope is that of the Kurdish forces, who have proven to be the most effective weapons against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

It is in this sense that the U.S planning has to take this into account in order to generate a strategy that would enable major blows against ISIS. The idea is to strike ISIS up to the point where people will again dare to fight them without fear.

How to do it is for the generals and strategists to decide. However, watching these videos and not granting them strategic and military importance would be a huge mistake. Psychological issues play a huge role, and most totalitarian bodies and regimes I mentioned above have understood that well.


Also see: